Lady Vikings Get Crucial Victory
The Lady Vikings basketball team takes the floor for Senior Night this evening needing a win against Southern Lee to stay in the hunt for a share of the regular season Cape Fear Valley Conference title.
At 19-3 overall, Union Pines is currently second in the league standings with a record of 8-2. Western Harnett (14-5) occupies the top spot with a mark of 8-1.
On Tuesday, the Lady Vikes picked up a critical 31-25 Cape Fear Valley Conference road win against the Westover Wolverines in Fayetteville. With the victory, Union Pines rebounded from a 41-39 road loss at the buzzer to league-leading Western Harnett, which halted a nine-game win streak.
Head coach John Lewkowicz described Tuesday’s result as “huge” for his Union Pines squad.
“There is no doubt about it — this was a big win,” he said. “If we dropped this game, it would have put us in the middle of the pack. Instead, we still have a chance of reaching our goal by taking the league title, because they (Western Harnett) still have to play Westover and Overhills.
“For us, this was all overcoming that last tough loss. So we went a long way in doing that by going on the road and proving we are a still a good basketball team by coming in here and picking up a win that we had to have. The girls really had to dig down deep to do this, and they did it defensively by seizing control of the game and keeping it.”
Tuesday’s CFVC clash between the visiting Vikes and Westover (9-10, 5-4) was a low-scoring, defensive struggle from the onset — one that remained closely contested until the final minutes of the fourth frame.
The Vikes led 7-4 through one period and took a 12-11 advantage at intermission. Through three quarters of play, Union Pines had a 22-19 lead.
Sophomore Tyler Ross came up big on the boards for Union Pines. She finished with a game-high 16 rebounds on the night and also led the Vikings in scoring with nine points.
“When I am out on the floor, I tell myself when we are on defense that the more rebounds I get, the more chances we get on offense,” said Ross. “We knew coming in that this was a pretty big game. So at Monday’s practice we focused on the things we needed to do to have success against Westover tonight and come out on top.”
Viking center Cristina Morcom scored only two points, but they were a big two points. In the fourth quarter, the senior caught a pass from captain Crystal Hicks and buried a jumper that gave Union Pines a 26-23 edge with 3:53 remaining.
Later, a Hicks’ defensive board led to a transition lay-in by Viking senior captain Tyesha McLean. The basket pushed Union Pines’ margin to 28-23 at the 1:45 mark of the final period. Then, with 1:04 left on the clock, McLean drove and converted another layup, making the score 30-23 and all but sealing the deal for Union Pines.
McLean finished with six points, seven assists and three steals on the night. Hicks had eight points, five rebounds and five steals. Senior Tashi Whitney tallied six points, four rebounds and three steals in the tilt for Union Pines, while Morcom had two points, four rebounds and three blocks.
Westover was paced by a 10-point outing from Jasmyn Trawick. The senior guard also had five assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Southern Lee enters tonight’s CFVC clash with a record of 5-4 in league play. The Vikes topped the Cavaliers 46-28 in the teams’ first meeting this season.
The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. tonight in Cameron.
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com.
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